Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five, was sentenced to death by ADSJ of Nankana on accusation of blasphemy filed in Saddar Police Station on complain of local mosque Imam of village Ittanwali.
In his petition, Dr, Nazir Bhatti have invited attention of Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of United Nation on safety of life of Asia Bibi in Seikhupura jail and submitted dozens of incidents of killing of Christians in police or jail custody who were accused of blasphemy.
Nazir Bhatti have feared that Asia Bibi can not have fair trial in Pakistan when Muslim religious groups and Islamic political parties are daily protesting and demanding death for Asia Bibi in public gatherings to pressurize higher courts.
Nazir Bhatti have appealed to Mr. Ban Ki-Moon to press upon government of Pakistan to repeal blasphemy law because its contradictory to Declaration of Universal Human Rights of United Nations on which Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a signatory state.
Here are full content of appeal to UN:
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon,
Secretary General, United Nations,
Release of Asia Bibi, a Christian mother sentenced to death on accusation of blasphemy and Repeal of Blasphemy Law in Pakistan
I, the undersigned Nazir S Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress PCC wish to draw your kind attention on victimization of Christian under blasphemy law and rising violence against religious minorities in Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
The death sentence to Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of five children, resident of village Ittanwali, on accusation of blasphemy on November 8, 2010, by Additional District and Session Judge Seikhupura, Mohammad Naveed Iqbal, have sparked wave of fear of life and property among Christians.
The blasphemy law in Asia Bibi case was also used to settle petty dispute among Muslim neighbor woman and victim, like hundreds of other blasphemy cases registered in Pakistan from 1988-2010.
According to National Commission on Justice and Peace NCJP, an esteemed establishment of Catholic Church in Pakistan, more than 974 cases have been filed from 1986 to 2009, against individuals of religious minorities under section 295 B and C of Pakistan Penal Code. The Section 295-C of blasphemy law was introduced in the Pakistan Penal Code in 1986. Under this Section, any person guilty of defiling the name of Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) has made liable to suffer life imprisonment or death. Later, in 1991, instead of life imprisonment, capital punishment was inducted under the direction of the Federal Shariat Court of Pakistan.
According to Ahamdi Muslims, who were declared non-Muslim with 4th Amendment in constitution of 1973, of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, more than 250 individuals of Ahmadi Muslims have been charged under Section 295-C PPC from year 1988-2009, in Pakistan.
On November 18, 2010, Latif Masih aged 22, was granted bail after five months of imprisonment for "blasphemy" for allegedly burning pages of the Qur'an, was shot dead in Punjab.
The Islamic extremists are taking law in their hands and murdering Christians falsely accused in blasphemy in broad day light to win heaven for them. It is on record that radical elements gunned downed Pastor Emmanuel and his brother Sajjid in compound of District Courts Faisalabad, when brought in police escort for hearing in blasphemy case on July 19, 2010.
On July 30, 2009, hundreds of members of banned Muslim organizations, torched Christian homes and burned alive seven Christian women and children in Gojra City in Punjab province of Pakistan. The Muslim mob set on fire hundreds of homes and vandalized Churches in village Korian Bahminwali in Punjab on pretext to blasphemy.
On September 16, 2009, Robert Danish, a Christian youth was killed in Sialkot Central Jail in a security cell waiting for trial in a blasphemy case.
The Islamic militants gunned down Justice Arif Iqbal Hussain Bhatti of Lahore High Court on October 19, 1997, in his office on acquitting two people who were accused of blasphemy.
On June 5, 1994, a blasphemy accused Manzoor Masih died on the spot in front of Lahore High Court when Islamic elements attacked him.
Bantu Masih, 80, and Mukhtar Masih, 50, were arrested on the allegation of committing blasphemy and stabbed to death in Police Station in city of Lahore. Tahir Iqbal facing sentence in blasphemy was killed in Lahore Distict Jail on July 7, 1991. A Christian teacher Niamat Ahmar was also killed by Islamic extremists on accusation of blasphemy law.
The millions of Pakistani Christian fear that Asia Bibi is not safe in Pakistan like many other blasphemy victims gunned down by the hands of religious fanatics. It is noteworthy that Asia Bibi can not have a fair trial in Pakistan when Muslim religious groups and Islamic political parties are holding protest rallies and demanding death for her and pressurizing courts.
I must submit reference of an article by one prominent Pakistani Christian Lawyer Naeem Shakir, who terms Article 2, of constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan as: “The religion (Islam) was introduced in the socio-political corpus through an Objectives Resolution, which has served as a preamble to all the three Constitutions of 1956, 1962 and 1973. This resolution, while speaking for Islam, however, in a sixth paragraph, provided that "an adequate provision shall be made for the minorities freely to profess and practice their religion and develop their culture". During the military rule of 1977-1987 the Objectives Resolution which was serving as a preamble to the 1973 Constitution was through a Presidential Order made substantive part of the Constitution by incorporation of Article 2-A: While doing so the word "freely" was deliberately deleted from the text. Now it reads as "an adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to profess and practice their religion and develop their culture." It was a deliberate and dishonest act on the part of the military ruler to delete the word "freely". Earlier in the preamble of the Constitution of Pakistan, the word freely was present whereas in the new Article 2-A the word freely was missing. I think this is a singular example of reading history through prejudice. This deliberate deletion later had serious repercussions in our socio-political set-up. It introduced an element of religious extremism in our society. And from that point of time the treatment meted out to the non-Muslims citizens has been very harsh”
The incidents of abduction and enforced conversions of Christian women and gang rapes have risen in Punjab province of Pakistan. The 90% cases of blasphemy have been registered against Christians, Ahmadi Muslims and other religious minorities in Punjab province where Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz PML(N) rules which legislated capital punishment for Section 295-C PPC, during premiership of its leader Mian Nawaz Sharif. The Muslim mob involved in burning alive 7 Christian women and Children in Gojra is walking free on streets because culprits are voters of PML(N) while Federal Government of Pakistan Peoples Party PPP is silent on injustice towards minorities because its sharing Punjab government.
There have been armed attacks on Christian worshipers which killed dozens in Churches in Bahawalpur, Chianwali, Karachi, Sukkur, Peshawar, Islamabad and Rawalpindi like Church in Baghdad, Iraq. We had attacks on our institutions in Karachi, Murree and Taxila where Christian social workers were killed but not a single attackers have been brought before justice.
Therefore, Pakistani Christians fear their safety of life in Pakistan and government of Islamic Republic of Pakistan have failed to adopt necessary security measure for Christians.
The implementation of Hadood Ordinance, Law of Evidence and Compensation and blasphemy law have blocked Interfaith Dialogues in Pakistan which is damaging Religious Freedom and spreading hate among religions.
The Blasphemy law is contradictory to Universal Declaration of Human Rights of which Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a signatory state in United Nations but denies equal basic democratic rights for religious minorities in its territories.
Therefore, we appeal to your honor to press upon government of Pakistan to repeal blasphemy law and immediately release Asia Bibi.
Dr. Nazir S Bhatti,
President, Pakistan Christian Congress PCC
Editor, Pakistan Christian Post
December 2, 2010.